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No Fun League Charges for Snowball Fight

When the NFL warns you about fan contact at the beginning of the season – Do your team a favor and listen. New York Jets defensive end Shaun Ellis was hit with a $10,000 fine after throwing snow at Seattle fans last Sunday. Though I don’t blame him, I would’ve thrown snow at pesky fans as well if I was being aimed at like a pop can.

Seattle Winter Storm

Seattle Winter Storm

Here’s the breakdown: Over the course of the game, Seattle fans threw snowballs at Jets players and even more so once they defeated them 13-3. There was no intervention by security to oversee the safety of athletes and the snow they were throwing was rock solid. Trust me, I’m in the Northwest for the holidays and falling on your @$$ isn’t like landing on a waterbed…Imagine snow pellets coming at your face like shoes in an Iraqi conference with GW.

So if hundreds of fans are throwing snow at you, would you not play along? Apparently you shouldn’t. Ellis thought it was fun and games returning snowballs while walking into the locker room, but the NFL said a crowd-controlling action such as that posed potential injury to fans and should’ve been avoided.

What about the safety of NFL players? It’s several fans vs. one player and you’re worried about their safety? I would’ve gone to the locker room, changed and comeback with yellow snow to throw. If anything, the NFL should question why security didn’t intervene and stop fans from throwing balls. Were they all just happy that they won their fourth game? ‘Cuz winning four games isn’t going to do much for their team. You didn’t win the Superbowl, let alone make playoffs.

Skrybe – Keep it Fly

December 23, 2008 Posted by | Features & Opinions, NFL | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Evilest Empire snags Teixeira

Hanky Poo

Hanky Poo

Well, I had posted yesterday that the Red Sox were the forerunners to sign Teixeira. I guess I was wrong. The Yankees apparently have swooped in and signed the first baseman to an eight-year contract worth over $170 million. Just when you think you got them, they jump right in and snag the prey.

The Yankees have been the big spenders this off-season acquiring CC Sabathia from the Brewers, Burnett from the Blue Jays and now Teixera from the Angels. Steinbrenner’s cash machine just seems to be the size of Scrooge McDuck’s cash vault. Yankee fans are most likely ecstatic. With over 400 million spent this month, the Yankees now hold the four most expensive players in Baseball (A-Rod, Jeter, Sabathia, Teixeira).

Well that saga is over and done with. No more “where will Teixera land” conversations on the radio and TV. Now be sure to expect more Yankee revival talk. Just remember, you can buy the best talent, make the best stadium and leave games early during blowouts (Yeah that’s you Yankee fans) but you can’t control egos. I’m seeing too many big name’s with big time baggage. So enjoy the new era of Yankee baseball, I’ll be rooting for the underdog.

Who says money can’t buy happiness?

RaginRondo

December 23, 2008 Posted by | Major League Baseball | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

No Fantasy This Holiday Season

The second to last week of December ushers in the Christmas season and prepares us for the New Year, new beginnings, and … the end of Fantasy Football. While most of the world runs around for last minute gifts, stocks up on cartoned nog, or indulges in taboo vices before they make fleeting resolutions, a large segment of the male population closes its doors to Fantasy Football. The 4 month long trudge through two-a-days of Yahoo/Fox updates and second-guessing Steve Slaton’s match-up against Carolina’s run D are over. Ladies, your men are back.

What the world really thinks

What the world really thinks

For 15 to 17 weeks, we are fixated on backup tight ends and whether Nate Kaeding will have more field goal attempts than John Carney. That season long digital trance is what I call the Fantasy Football Funk (FF Funk).

This FF Funk has many a symptom:

  • It causes guys to root against their home team (if indirectly) — “Man, I hope my Giants beat the Cowboys, but Eli throws 3 picks and fumbles twice, because I’m playing Stu this week.”
  • “Hellos” and “What’s ups” are no longer part of exchanges between buds, rather just straight to: “Fool, you’re stupid for starting LT.” or “Hey, you still got a chance on Monday night, IF Seneca Wallace throws for 6 scores against the Steelers.”
  • Guys outright avoid meeting up for drinks or pick-up hoop games for fear of said clowning (see above). Note: Poker night attendance suffers during the FF Funk season.
  • If exchanges are mutual, then we encounter 4-hour long discussions on gap-schemes and ball-hawking fullbacks. FF Funk guys become astrophysicists in these discussions with the eloquence and fervor of Deepak Chopra at a book signing.
  • Scores of bull rushes to nearby laptops and logins (ala those Southwest “ding” commercials) once ESPN News posts a blurb that Darren McFadden has a stinger, and so WE ALL have to get on the Justin Fargas train!! [insert Huggy Bear reference here].
  • The de-evolution of Fantasy League Commissioners (and I ran 2 of the 4 leagues I was in myself) into some hate-spewing control freak, reminding managers twice a week to pay their league fee and regurgitating the rules that are clearly posted.

I know there’s a bunch more FF Funk symptoms and irrational behavior, I just don’t have to time to list them since being free.

Time to refocus priorities

Time to refocus priorities

But there are a few good things that come out of the FF Funk, and that’s if you win your league, you get some straight cash homey. Or in my case, you have to explain to your wife (because Sundays are all booked up), the nuances and rules of football, because she wants to “relate”. This had a great effect though, because of our added “together time” on Sundays, she’s allowed me 20 extra minutes a week of surfing hot sites like this one. But that’s another story.

So we delete those Fantasy bookmarks, wave goodbye to NFL injury lists, say adios to pass defendeds and auf wiedersehen to 3rd string “sleeper” backs. And as we hear the kids sing carols, smell the evergreen wreaths, and wrap the fruitcake for the in-laws, we get back to what’s really important … betting on Bowl Games.

It’s good to have my life back. Peace out FF Funk.

Happy holidays!

December 23, 2008 Posted by | Fantasy Football, NFL | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Top Athletes of the Decade – 2000’s

The holidays are upon us, and with this comes the impending doom of lengthy credit card statements, bone chilling winters, and the inevitable dinner table family debacles.  My younger years were spent watching my father and grandfather quarrel about political issues, whereas nowadays, with no political depth,  I spend those dinners disputing the athletic prowess of my generation’s players versus those of yesteryear with the Ol’ Man.  For every Lebron, I hear the Big-O.  For Peyton Manning…Johnny U.  Say Albert Pujols, Mickey Mantle, and so on.

With this insistence on us needing to rank our athletes of today within a historical reference, these “Top 10” lists have become second nature to us.  I can remember 1999 bombarding us with enough Top 10 lists to spin my head around 3 times and soon after view everything in Top 10’s, Shawn Kemp’s Top 10 illegitimate kids, Oprah’s Top 10 weight classes, Tyra Banks’ Top 10 profound statements…you get the picture. 

So, with the first decade of the 2000’s coming to an end, lets get a jump on the matter and preview the Top 10 Athletes, across the board, of the 2000’s.

10. Ichiro – Come on…remember how he burst onto the scene in 2001 throwing Terrence Long out as he attempted to advance to 3rd, therefore causing every MLB player to think twice from there on.  In 8 seasons, he has 1805 base hits, never less than 200 and a career batting average of .331.  Oh yeah, in those 8 years, 8 All-Star appearances, and 8 Gold Gloves.  I repeat…come on!

9. Ladanian Tomlinson – Outside of Jim Brown, Walter Payton, and Barry Sanders, has to be the best of all-time at his trade.  If there is a TD record out there LT either holds it or will.  Fastest to 100 TD’s all-time, 31 TD’s in one year and more than 15,000 yards from scrimmage in 8 seasons..clearly he belongs on this list.

8. Peyton Manning – With the decade not even over, Manning has thrown for 37,295 yards, 277 TD’s to 123 INT’s, and has led his team to a 100-43 record.  Manning is immersed in day-to-day disputes over not only being the best QB of this generation, but gets his share of votes for being the best of all time.

7. Zinedine Zidane – Sure, we could argue Ronaldhino, Luis Figo, Ronaldo and so on, but Zidane has been the most consistent and dominating player in the world this decade.  Zidane led France to victory in the Euro 2000, was dominant for Real Madrid from ’01-’06, retired, came out of retirement to lead France in the 2006 World Cup, and is the only man I have ever seen knock someone to the ground by head butting him…in the chest!

6. Lance Armstrong – Clearly the most dominating athlete in the history of cycling, Armstrong came into the decade with a Tour de France victory in 1999, then won his 2nd in 2000, and 2001, and 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005..yes, that is 7 and 7 straight!  Oh yeah, he did all of this after beating cancer!

5. Michael Schumacher – In a similar fashion to Mr. Armstrong, Michael Schumacher came into 2000 and started it off right, with a Formula One World Championship, his first with Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro. He followed this up in 2001 with another championship, then 2002, then 2003, and yes, 2004.  Dominant!  In 2005 and 2006, he didn’t win, but he finished 3rd and 2nd overall respectively.

4. Kobe Bryant – Let me remind you that this list is the Top 10 Athletes not Top 10 Classiest, Chivalrous, Team-Oriented, contributors to a better society.  With that said, in the decade of the 2000’s Kobe has 3 NBA championships, 6 NBA 1st Teams, 6 NBA Defensive Teams, 2 Scoring Titles and 1 MVP.  He is a highlight reel on any given night and is the only player I have ever heard to be argued against Michael Jordan as the NBA’s greatest of all-time.

3. Tom Brady – The decade started off by being drafted in the 6th Round only to hold a clip board and rank fourth on a depth chart behind Pro-Bowler Drew Bledsoe as well as Michael Bishop and John Friesz.  Then came September 23, 2001, soon to be a recognized Holiday in the New England region.  Brady took over and led his team to the first of 3 Super Bowls.  In 2007 he threw for 50 TD’s and finished with a QB rating of 117.2 Rating, while ALMOST leading his team to a perfect 19-0 season.

2. Michael Phelps – I can tell you that Phelps has won 14 Gold Medals over the past 2 Olympics and we could leave it that.  But, that might lead one to think that is all he has done, so in fairness lets add 7 American Swimmer of the Year Awards, 5 World Swimmer of the Year Awards, 40 overall Gold Medals, including the Pan Pacific and World Championships, and 1 2008 Sports Illustrated “Sportsman of the Year” award.

1. Tiger Woods – We can spin this list to be Athlete of the decade, the last 15 years, last 20 years, or maybe even of all-time, and your going to get a strong case for Tiger Woods.  Let me say this, I LOVE Jack Nicklaus…but Come ON!  It cant even be a debate anymore.  Tiger has been the PGA Player of the Year 9 times, and he is only 32 Years old…Nicklaus won it 5 over his career.  Tiger has won 14 Major Championships, 12 of them coming during this decade.  Quite simply, Tiger is the best athlete of this generation…sorry MJ.

Honorable Mention: Ronaldo, Annika Sorenstam, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, David Beckham, Luis Figo, Ronaldhino, Sidney Crosby, Lebron James, Albert Pujols , Brett Favre, Shaquille O’Neal, Barry Bonds, Jimmie Johnson, and Roger Federer.

December 23, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Ming Dynasty

Battier is reaping the Yao benefits in China!

Battier is reaping the Yao benefits in China!

I would like to make an announcement today exclusively on Sportsfly! This is historic and media outlets will be swarming after this is released. I, RaginRondo, will make myself eligible for the 2009-2010 NBA draft. My recreational league stats 5.2 PPG, 6 APG, 5.5 RPG, and a defensive lockdown forward with Ray Lewis intensity. But there’s a clause. I will only sign with the Houston Rockets. I know Ron Artest, the defensive juggernaut is now in Houston but with my addition, we will have the intangibles to turn the Rockets into the Uber Rockets. After signing, i will befriend Yao Ming and learn what makes this man tick. I would actually be fine with sitting the bench and selling out to Yao’s circle of sponsorships.

Ever since the Yao dynasty began, Houston players have been getting Chinese endorsement deals from shoe and retail sponsors. The most recent Rocket to sign is Ron Artest who has made a deal with the shoe company China Peak. Shane Battier also wears this shoe while Luis Scola and Steve Francis sport Anta; another Chinese shoe brand. Yao alone has been sponsored by major companies including; Nike, Reebok, Pepsi, Visa, Garmin, Apple and McDonald’s here in the U.S. and China. Cha-Ching!! Yao’s one of the most popular people in all of China and with Yi Jianlian coming to the NBA; China has only increased their product market base. A reported 400 million items of NBA memorabilia were sold in China in 2007 with over 1 billion viewers watching the NBA.
With this increased popularity, I expect to sign a deal extremely soon with “Mr. Sparkle”;(This barring any problems with my Houston signing). Don’t worry; my signing is more of a lock than the J-E-T-S blowing Sunday’s game to spite the Pats. China, say hello to your new household name! Thanks Yao.

RaginRondo

December 23, 2008 Posted by | NBA | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Power Fakings

It’s Tuesday morning which means that every sports website, blog, and flyer left on your windshield at the grocery store posts their “Power Rankings.”  Across the board ESPN, FOX Sports, and SI all have the Celtics sitting atop the NBA list.  The C’s are followed by the Cavs and the Lakers.  That’s cool.  When you look at the NFL opinions vacillate between the Giants, Colts, Steelers, and Titans.  Cool, as well.  Here’s the beef, the static, the bone to pick.  After numbers 1-5, who really cares about Power Rankings?

Let’s be honest, if you’re the 26th ranked team in any league, do you have any power to speak of?  “The big mover this week are the Milwaukee Bucks, up 4 spots from 22 to 18.”  We’ve all heard or read that quote about any team you care to fill in the blank with.  That’s just flat out ridiculous.  That’s the same thing as giving kids participation ribbons in martial arts tournaments when they get their asses kicked.   Once again, in an effort to make everyone feel good and feel apart of things we’re giving kudos to mediocrity.  If you’re not in the top 5, then you’ve got no clout.  In the Olympics do we care anything about anyone outside of the top 3?  Nope.  Is there an award for ending the year number 15 out of 30?  Nope. 

Well, since it is Tuesday please allow the FlyMaster to drop his Power Rankings.  This is a global sports list and anyone plus everyone is eligible.  Let’s drop it.

10.  DUIs – No misdemeanor has more influence on Saturday and Sunday nights throughout all sports seasons.  DUIs lead to press conferences, MADD letters to the editor, and the proverbial “The details of this incident will come out in due time” quote from the team.

9.  Alyssa Milano – Sam Micelli has grown up to be the official slump buster or slump causer for many a pro athlete.  Brad Penny.  Check.  Derek Lowe.  Check.  I bet Sean Avery has something to say about that too.  She’s had more influence on the Dodgers bullpen than Orel Hershiser ever did.

8.  John Daly – If you think you have problems, then look at Daly and you’ll automatically feel better.  The man is a martyr for the common man.  John screws up so we don’t have to.  That’s a real friend.

7.  Shark Week – Education + death = social improvement.  Nuff said.

6.  Michael Phelps – Any swimmer that is making waves in the dead of winter has mad pull.  Last time the FlyMaster hopped in a pool after September his testicles swam back up into his stomach, thus improving his falsetto to the highest level of operatic beauty.  The Flylady, however, was sorely disappointed and remains completely unsatisfied.

Snuggie in Effect

Snuggie in Effect

5.  The Snuggie – This full body blanket is sweeping the nation.  Commercials play every five minutes on ESPN.  Entire families are now outfitted like twenty-first century Druid dorks.  Images of ladies knitting, young girls texting, and of course Uncle Ralph doing some hand jive while voting for his favorite Fly Girls, are what the Snuggie is all about. 

4.  NHL and MLS – Just kidding.

3.  Tiger Woods – Tiger revealed that he was nursing the torn ACL/suspect knee since 2002.  Okay, so this guy dominated the PGA for 6 years while rolling on a bum wheel.  Was he just making it fun for himself?  Phil Mickelson needs to find a better sports bra and the rest of the PGA should start pairing up and playing best ball to keep up with Ger when he comes back with two legs. 

2.  Malaria – Malaria is always a threat to steal the game.  Trevor Hoffman, Goose Gossage, and Lee Smith combined don’t close the job like Malaria does.  Malaria is the Bernard Hopkins of vector based diseases.  It just keeps coming and coming.

1.  Sports Cliches – Where would sports be without the lame cliche?  Would coaches, announcers, and players even know how to speak if they weren’t speaking cliche?  “We just came out and played hard.”  “The intangibles will be the key.”  “We dug deep…deeper than we’ve ever dug before.”  “We’re gonna take this negative and turn it into a positive.”  “That’s why you play the game.”  “His basketball IQ is off the charts.”  ” You can feel the momentum swinging.”  “We just take it one game at a time.”  “I just want to thank my lord and savior.”  Once again the sports cliche runs the day.

FlyMaster Signing Off…For Now!

December 23, 2008 Posted by | Features & Opinions, General, Talkin Trash | 2 Comments

I Don’t Understand…

I don’t understand how the Broncos can have the AFC West in the palm of their hands for weeks, only to crash and burn down the stretch.

I don’t understand how the mediocre Broncos now have to play the mediocre Chargers for the right to be called the AFC division champions.

I don’t understand how an 8-8 team (Broncos, Chargers, Cardinals) can conceivably win their division.

I don’t understand how Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan can play lights out as rookies, but Derek Anderson looked lost all season.

I don’t understand how the Pittsburgh Steelers won their game against Baltimore with a suspect catch, but a similar ending involving the Eagles on Sunday resulted in a completely different call.

I don’t understand how a reporter can get away with asking Lions head coach Rod Marinelli if he wished his daughter married a better defensive coordinator.

I don’t understand how the Patriots can actually finish the season with an 11-5 record, but still miss the playoffs.

Cowboys Disappoint on Sunday

Cowboys Disappoint on Sunday

I don’t understand why the Cowboys get so much of the spotlight for such an inconsistent, overrated squad.

I don’t understand how the Cardinals even deserve to watch the playoffs, let alone play in them, after their disgraceful performance in New England.

I don’t understand how Matt Cassell went from the verge of being cut in the pre-season to playing such inspired football.

I don’t understand how the Saints have squandered such an incredible season by Drew Brees.

I don’t understand how the Jets could blow such a big opportunity for the playoffs by losing to the lowly Seahawks.

I don’t understand how the Eagles couldn’t manage to beat the “worst coach in America.”

I don’t understand how both Jerry Porter and Donte Stallworth can feel good about collecting their paycheck every week.

I don’t understand how the NFL refuses to compensate the old timers who built this league into what it is, but they’ll fine Wes Welker for making a snow angel.

I don’t understand how Tony Siragusa is at all necessary on Fox Broadcasts.

I don’t understand why Ed Hochuli is just now considered to be “off the hook” for his blown call in week two when the Chargers have been a sub-par team all season long.

What are your thoughts on the biggest surprises of the NFL season?

December 23, 2008 Posted by | NFL | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment